Negro boy holding hand of small white girl during White House Easter egg roll, 1898

White House – Negro boy holding hand of small white girl during Easter egg roll, 1898
Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer
Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, (Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-46453)
For more information about the photo:

This photograph was taken at the 1898 White House Easter egg roll. William McKinley was the president.

Clarence Lusane describes the image in his book The Black History of the White House:

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Jim Crow segregation and “separate but equal” black codes were aggressively enforced throughout the South, few African Americans were permitted to even visit the White House. As the [above] photo indicates, however, black children were allowed to attend the White House’s annual Easter egg-rolling ceremony. Permitting black children to integrate with white children on the White House premises one day a year was acceptable, even though such mingling was illegal in many public spaces throughout the South at the time, including libraries and schools.


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